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When you think about dying fabric, I’m sure you think of big mess, stains, and a few days worth of work. And doing it with kids? No way, right? You would end up with a child permanently stained purple and a house to match. Well, I want you to completely erase that picture from your mind because that is the complete opposite of what we are doing today! This easy toddler activity is sure to be a hit with you and your kiddo. Today you are going to learn yet another way to dye fabric at home…with kids…with less mess! (To see our first method, check out this post.)

(This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. You will not pay any more, but I will receive a small commission that helps finance our wild life. Thanks!)

What you need to do this easy toddler activity:

  • Fabric or t-shirt or towel (white cotton works best)
  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Spray bottle

How to dye fabric with kids

Before dying your fabric make sure it is clean and cut to whatever shape you desire. This can be turned into a t-shirt, pillow, cape, play fabric, baby blankie, wherever your child’s creativity takes them!

easy toddler activity coloring with crayon on fabric

First, add a design to the fabric

Using the crayons draw a design on the fabric. Add dots, stripes, a smiley face, whatever you want!

This design will stay crisp and will not smudge since you are using crayon, so plan on it staying the way that you print it.

Next, add marker to the design

The marker is going to be what actually dyes the fabric. Depending on how it is colored on the fabric you can actually make it look like tie-dye!

Think about how colors look when they mix, just like when using watercolor, as you add them to the fabric.

easy toddler activity coloring with marker on fabric

Spray with water

After you have added all the color you think you want with the marker, start to spray the design with water. You don’t want it to be soaking wet, but wet enough that the fabric is wet to the touch.

Don’t worry if after spraying a little you want to add more color! Go ahead and do it!

The colors will start to spread and mix as they bleed. You can see the progression as the water soaks into the fabric. If it doesn’t look like you like it after a few minutes, add more color! But remember it will continue to bleed until the fabric dries again.

When you are content with your color, allow the fabric to dry completely.

easy toddler activity less mess tie dye on fabric

And here is the finished product! You can see how the colors mix and spread, just like water color. Depending on the design you draw you can create a tie-dye effect, stripes, spots, wherever your imagination takes you!

Because the colors are bleeding, they will be less intense than when they are added to the fabric. Add more color for more saturation! Experiment with how much water you add, too. More water = more bleeding = less saturation.

We would love to see your finished projects! Tag us @blueberriesmash on Instagram!

And if you liked this dying project, try our other (less mess) dye projects!

Simple & Beautiful Way to Dye Fabric at Home With Kids (Less Mess!)

How to Dye Coffee Filters for Crafts With Kids

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